Serious Game Design and Integration in English Phonology and Pronunciation Teaching

Conference: The European Conference on Language Learning (ECLL2021)
Title: Serious Game Design and Integration in English Phonology and Pronunciation Teaching
Stream: Educational Technologies
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Mahdi Amazouz, University of Paris, France
Franck Zumstein, University of Paris, France


Interest in using games to impart knowledge has grown tremendously over the past few years. Following a pedagogical shift toward a learner-centered approach, serious games offer new perspectives in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) (Reinhardt et al, 2020; Bogost, 2007). This study investigates the design process and use of a digital game for L2 phonology at the University of Paris. Different courses include the study of syllables and stress patterns, reading rules, intonation, specific courses in articulatory and acoustic phonetics, and phonology. The acquisition of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is the first and necessary step as pointed out by Mompean (2015). However, after six semesters (72 weeks) of theoretical and practical courses, students’ evaluations show recurrent mistakes in their phonemic transcriptions and their pronunciations. When it comes to learning English pronunciation, IPA transcription is one of the only accessible and quantifiable forms of the acquisition of the pronunciation so that it is necessary to analyze the content of the transcriptions (Tyne et al., 2014). Marquillo-Larruy (2003: 49) explains that in the field of cognitive psychology, an error, like an iceberg, exhibits mental processes to which one does not have direct access. Following Lintunen’s work (2004), we compiled and analyzed a corpus of phonemic transcriptions written by students to determine a typology of errors and define their specific needs. The analysis of pretest and posttest transcriptions aims to discuss French learners' difficulties when learning the pronunciation of English and determine the extent to which serious games can improve the learning process.

Virtual Presentation

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